The state of Florida is being sued…by Chinese citizens. Specifically, they are representing the “countries of concern” language outlined in a new law which prohibits individuals from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria from purchasing property within a 10 mile radius of “any military installation or critical infrastructure facility” and agricultural land.
The Chinese citizens living in Florida sued the state Monday, despite the fact that the law “contains an exception for citizens of other countries on a valid non-tourist visa or who have been granted asylum to purchase one residential property as long as it is less than two acres and not within five miles of installation” reports The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Law SB 264 was signed by the state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on May 8. DeSantis announced Wednesday he will be running for president in the 2024 presidential election. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is supporting Chinese citizens who allege in their complaint that Florida’s law, which will take effect on July 1, expands housing discrimination and has “farreaching stigmatizing effects among people of Chinese and Asian descent.”
Among the reasons that the bill was created and passed by DeSantis is that an alarming amount of farmland in the United States is being purchased by Chinese associates:
Chinese buyers purchased $6.1 billion in U.S. real estate in between April 2021 and March 2022, making them the biggest foreign land buyers in the country, according to a National Association of Realtors report. GOP lawmakers have sounded the alarm about the national security threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) exercising control over domestic land.
In January, DeSantis stated: “When [the CCP has] interests that are opposed to ours and you see how they’ve wielded their authority — and especially with President Xi, who’s taken a much more Marxist Leninist turn since he’s been ruling China — that is not in the best interest of Florida to have the Chinese Communist Party owning farmland, owning land close to military bases.”
A similar law was passed in Montana in May as concern about the Chinese Communist Party’s initiative to buy land near U.S. military installations increases. According to data from the Department of Agriculture, Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland has increased from $81 million in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2020.